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RMAF's two new copters arrive

RMAF’s two new copters arrive

New Straits Times – 03 December 2012
Featured Photo: Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi taking a closer look at the EC725 at Subang Skypark yesterday. Pic by Effendy Rashid

UP-TO-DATE: They are part of 12 Eurocopters ordered from France
PETALING JAYA: DESPITE the  prudent defence budget, the rejuvenation of the air force’s assets is long overdue, said Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
Zahid was on hand yesterday to receive the first two of 12 Eurocopter EC725 tactical transport helicopters for the Royal Malaysian Air Force at the Subang Skypark.
This marked the beginning of a new phase of new-generation helicopters for the RMAF, which would be used for combat search and rescue missions.
The two helicopters had arrived in Subang onboard an Antonov An-124 Ruslan cargo aeroplane from Marignanc, France, last Friday.
Zahid said the acquisition of the EC725 would improve the RMAF’s capabilities and ensured its helicopter inventory was modern, mission-ready and reliable.
“The deal has brought 13 comprehensive cooperation projects to strengthen Malaysia’s strategic aeronautical skills and capabilities via education at universities.”
He said the remaining 10 EC725 would be delivered in stages by 2014.
Eurocopter Malaysia has teamed up with Boustead Heavy Industry Corporation to establish a regional simulator centre for the EC225/725 in Subang, along with a maintenance, repair and overhaul centre for commercial and military aircraft.
“This facility will make Malaysia a training hub for pilots and crew of the two types of helicopters in the Asia-Pacific region.”
He also said that Eurocopter had awarded Composite Technology Research Malaysia the manufacturing of EC130 components, including the helicopter’s fenestron, and collaboration to develop helicopter system integration competencies.
Zahid added that such collaboration had resulted in a RM5 billion total investment in Malaysia’s defence industry by international and local companies.
It is learnt that the RMAF requires up to 30 EC725 as part of its fleet-modernisation programme to replace the aging 20-odd Sikorsky S-61 Nuri, the first of which was bought in 1968.
Unlike the all-weather EC725, the Nuri has limited avionics enabling it to fly only during clear weather.
The RMAF will operate the first two EC725 from its Kuantan base to train pilots and crew, pending the arrival of the 10 helicopters.
The EC725 proved its mettle with the French Air Force during Operation Baliste to evacuate war victims from Lebanon in 2006 and in supporting coalition forces in the Afghanistan war from 2007.
Malaysia is among seven countries operating or having ordered the EC725. The others are France, Brazil, Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Mexico and Thailand.

UP-TO-DATE: They are part of 12 Eurocopters ordered from France
PETALING JAYA: DESPITE the  prudent defence budget, the rejuvenation of the air force’s assets is long overdue, said Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
Zahid was on hand yesterday to receive the first two of 12 Eurocopter EC725 tactical transport helicopters for the Royal Malaysian Air Force at the Subang Skypark.
This marked the beginning of a new phase of new-generation helicopters for the RMAF, which would be used for combat search and rescue missions.
The two helicopters had arrived in Subang onboard an Antonov An-124 Ruslan cargo aeroplane from Marignanc, France, last Friday.
Zahid said the acquisition of the EC725 would improve the RMAF’s capabilities and ensured its helicopter inventory was modern, mission-ready and reliable.
“The deal has brought 13 comprehensive cooperation projects to strengthen Malaysia’s strategic aeronautical skills and capabilities via education at universities.”
He said the remaining 10 EC725 would be delivered in stages by 2014.
Eurocopter Malaysia has teamed up with Boustead Heavy Industry Corporation to establish a regional simulator centre for the EC225/725 in Subang, along with a maintenance, repair and overhaul centre for commercial and military aircraft.
“This facility will make Malaysia a training hub for pilots and crew of the two types of helicopters in the Asia-Pacific region.”
He also said that Eurocopter had awarded Composite Technology Research Malaysia the manufacturing of EC130 components, including the helicopter’s fenestron, and collaboration to develop helicopter system integration competencies.
Zahid added that such collaboration had resulted in a RM5 billion total investment in Malaysia’s defence industry by international and local companies.
It is learnt that the RMAF requires up to 30 EC725 as part of its fleet-modernisation programme to replace the aging 20-odd Sikorsky S-61 Nuri, the first of which was bought in 1968.
Unlike the all-weather EC725, the Nuri has limited avionics enabling it to fly only during clear weather.
The RMAF will operate the first two EC725 from its Kuantan base to train pilots and crew, pending the arrival of the 10 helicopters.
The EC725 proved its mettle with the French Air Force during Operation Baliste to evacuate war victims from Lebanon in 2006 and in supporting coalition forces in the Afghanistan war from 2007.
Malaysia is among seven countries operating or having ordered the EC725. The others are France, Brazil, Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Mexico and Thailand.

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